The Role Players
Review is by Molly
When PI Dick Hardesty’s old flame Chris Wolff and his companion Max Rawls issue an invitation to Dick and his partner Jonathan Quinlan to come to New York the pair leap at the chance. A vacation is soon planned for taking in the sights and attending the opening night of ‘Impartial Observer’ written by Gene Morrison. Max just happens to be the stage manager while Chris is the set designer. Old friends Tim and Phil agree to feed Jonathan’s fish and care for his plants while the duo are away from home.
Leading man Rod Pearce was murdered just prior to the trip planned by Dick and Jonathan. Tait Duncan of The Whitman Theater group, financial backer for the play suspects someone involved in the play may be responsible for Rod’s death. He is adamant that he does not want adverse publicity to taint the upcoming opening. The offer of a sizeable fee prompts Dick to accept Duncan’s offer, however, the trip is supposed to be a vacation. Duncan’s proposal that Dick do only what he can during the time he and Jonathan are in New York along with Jonathan’s agreeing to the plan clinches the deal. Before long Dick is embroiled in the investigation. Tourist ventures, tickets to see Cats, afternoon rehearsal, an understudy who is proving to be a bit of a problem, lunch on a high rise balcony, the world trade center, Christopher Street, the Statue of Liberty, a torn note and a man with a beard and a matchbook from a rough bar, ‘The Hole,’ and solving a murder are all part of the tale.
Murder first brought Dick and Jonathan together. And now, in The Role Players, one more murder draws the pair into the seamy underbelly of rumors, animosities, and ego trips peculiar to the New York theatrical group. Dick's sound reasoning and purposeful inquisitiveness are put to good use as he sorts through the circumstances surrounding the killing. It does not take Dick long to realize that while Rod’s death is a blow for everyone involved in the production; Rod was a slut. Suspects abound. There are plenty of men who might want to see him dead.
With The Role Players Writer Grey furthers his zestful, reader pleasing series featuring PI Hardesty and with the introduction of Jonathan offers the reader a duo of fascinating characters certain to delight the most demanding reader. Grey crafts another pleasantly puzzling mystery, filled with spine tingling, fast-paced action, quick-witted dialogue, a hefty dollop of jocularity and not a little artifice destined to keep the reader turning the pages.
The Role Players may be author Grey’s prime nisus to date, but then, this reviewer tends to think that of each of this writer’s works as they appear. Grey’s genius as a novelist advances with each new thriller he produces. Well-fleshed characters, hard hitting dialogue, backdrops filled with all the points of interest, resonances and aroma of the locale pull the reader straight into the book from the opening paragraph as we sit with Jonathan and Dick on the airplane descending into LaGuardia. Reader interest is held tight through each of the steps and missteps encountered along the pathway until Dick reveals to the murderer, and to us, that he has done it again. … the culprit is exposed and the conclusion is acceptable.
Excellent addition to the home library where The Role Players will be read and enjoyed by those who enjoy a touch of romance, the out of the ordinary and plain good writing when enjoying a ‘whodunnit.’ The Role Players is sure to please those who enjoy the genre.
| The Series:
The Butcher's Son
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